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Investing in Physical Infrastructure to Enable School Security

Michael Nutter

April 16, 2020

IP security cameras have been proven to reduce violence rates, but many Ohio schools lack the physical infrastructure necessary to support the technology.

A safe, supportive, and healthy environment is vital to stoking students’ growth and learning. Prolonged exposure to violence and other stressors has been shown to disrupt proper brain development and impair cognitive function well into adulthood. Unfortunately, violence is a daily reality in many schools nationwide, even right here in Ohio.

The good news is that with fairly simple measures, schools can drastically reduce school violence. As school shootings and other violent incidents become increasingly commonplace on K-12 campuses nationwide, districts should do everything in their ability to buck these trends. For example, security cameras have been shown to reliably decrease violence when installed in public spaces. With the right technology at their fingertips, there are now ways that districts can increase visibility and take steps toward making their schools safe spaces for the community.

Choosing the Right Tools for the Job

As public and private schools across the country turn to security cameras as a means of reducing school violence, forward-thinking districts are opting to install IP cameras over traditional CCTV options. Digital cameras offer myriad benefits over their analog counterparts, including:

  • Scalability: the ability to easily add and remove more cameras at any time as school’s needs change
  • Remote access: the ability to access footage from a PC, Mac, or mobile device
  • Security: encrypted digital transmissions for heightened cybersecurity, as well as continued recording even during a power outage for increased physical security
  • Resolution: clearer images that provide greater detail than CCTV cameras
  • Analytics: equipped with analytics programs that enable features like license plate recognition, people counting, motion detection, loiterer detection, and more

However, what many schools don’t consider is that they may not currently have the infrastructure in place to support an effective network of IP cameras. IP cameras require Cat 5 or Cat 6 cabling, two types of Ethernet network cable used to transmit video signal and supply power to things like computers, servers, and network IP cameras. This infrastructure upgrade isn’t just a matter of maximum efficacy, either — it’s impossible to operate an IP camera with older cabling.

Luckily, an upfront investment in Cat 5 or Cat 6 cabling ensures savings for years to come. The next time you need an upgrade, whether it’s three, five, or even seven years down the line, the necessary infrastructure will already be there; the upgrade will be just a matter of swapping camera heads and recording devices.

When it comes to making a decision between Cat 5 and Cat 6, the choice will likely come down to budget and any future requirements outlined in a district’s five-year technology plan. The decision will vary between districts — it’s important to remember that there is no “one size fits all” approach to network infrastructure. Cat 5E is more budget-friendly and can still support high speeds that will be sufficient for your district’s IP cameras. On the other hand, Cat 6 cables are an even better investment to future-proof yourself against the ways your needs will change and develop over the coming years.

A Specialized School Security Partner

If it’s time to upgrade your school’s security system and improve your network infrastructure, consider partnering with Vinson. We’re not just security specialists — we’re experts in the education space. We understand the unique challenges of creating a safe and positive learning environment, which is why we work directly with educators to craft custom security solutions.

When you choose to partner with us, we’ll kick off our program one of two ways. We’ll either perform a walkthrough with a school principal or another decision-maker to get a sense of the existing infrastructure, or we’ll run a demo with the superintendent and board. This kickoff will serve as our introduction to your district’s goals, needs, and budget, which we’ll use to design your customized solution.

Vinson’s security specialists put your district’s needs first. Whether your budget allows for 50 cameras or 150 cameras, we’ll help you install the best security solution and ensure your infrastructure is prepared for the years to come. To learn more, reach out to us today.

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